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Man cuts off man’s head with guitar string for religious purposes

By Mason White 5:07 PM April 7, 2015
James Paul Harris 

By: Mahesh Sarin
A man cut off another man’s head with a guitar string for religious purposes, prosecutors in Kansas said.

Now, the 30-year-old man has been sentenced to four years in prison for beheading 49-year-old James Gerety and keeping his skull.

James Paul Harris pleaded no contest to manslaughter.

Osage County prosecutors said that Harris was originally charged with premeditated first-degree murder for killing Gerety, but the charges were changed because their case faced numerous challenges.

Investigators only found a portion of the victim’s skull. The rest of the victim’s body and the murder weapon was never found. Prosecutors said that they also had problems with the credibility of witnesses.

A former girlfriend of Harris testified that he told her he killed Gerety of Topeka, using a guitar string. He then disposed of the body and kept the head in a bag.

The victim’s skull was discovered by accident.

The girlfriend of the defendant’s father was searching for mushrooms when she stumbled upon the victim’s skull. The defendant’s father immediately called the police.